I started playing fantasy football in 2007, so most of my experience with the fake game came in the decade that just wrapped up. As such, it was great to take a look back in this week’s episode of “The Fantasy Football Survival Kit” at some of the top players from the last 10 years that helped me try (keyword, try) to win some fantasy championships during my come-up years. Of course, some user submissions stuck out more than others.
Beyond the obvious top suggestions like Adrian Peterson or Chris Johnson, I was happy to see Arian Foster pop up. Not just because Foster was wildly productive for a good stretch of the decade, leading the NFL in rushing touchdowns twice, but he holds a special place in the heart of fake footballers. We all hype up sleepers and breakout players. Most of them fade away to dust. Foster was a former undrafted player whom fantasy managers hyped up after a strong end to his 2009 season earned him a starting spot in Gary Kubiak’s ultra-high-leverage rushing scheme. He went on to become the best back in fantasy in 2010.
That’s coming through for us.
So, too, was it just to see Drew Brees make the list. Beyond the fact that Brees, my first fantasy quarterback in 2007, was a stud on his own, he elevated so many players on his team. From all-stars like Jimmy Graham to Michael Thomas to random contributors like Lance Moore and all the way to countless pass-catching backs, playing alongside Brees was money for skill-position players the last 10-plus years.
Lastly, it was a pleasure to get fantasy cult heroes like Danny Woodhead and Ryan Fitzpatrick into the segment. After all, The Fantasy Football Survival Kit is all about THE PEOPLE. Are they technically some of the most prolific players in fake football the last decade? No, but please, let’s not take this so seriously. It’s a game that’s supposed to be fun and one that helps create community. Few things create a tighter bond between friends or internet compatriots like developing weird attachments to the NFL’s unheralded. It’s just another tasty layer when those players go on to become major fantasy values and help fill the gaps on championship teams.
If you didn’t have a couple of teams that benefitted from Danny Woodhead’s annual undervalued draft cost in PPR or make it through a stretch by streaming Ryan Fitzpatrick, were you even really playing fantasy the last 10 years? Hard to say, if you ask me.